Greens back calls for significant and immediate minimum wage rises in ECEC
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > Greens back calls for significant and immediate minimum wage rises in ECEC

Greens back calls for significant and immediate minimum wage rises in ECEC

by Freya Lucas

August 31, 2022

The Australian Greens Party will seek amendments to the laws arising from the Jobs and Skills Summit, to be held later this week, which would see the minimum wage lift to 60 per cent of median earnings, or $23.76 an hour.


Female-dominated sectors such as aged care and early childhood education and care (ECEC) would also be guaranteed award wage rises, equivalent to 0.5 per cent above the consumer price index of 6.1 per cent, Greens leader Adam Bandt said. 


“The Government must lift wages now,” he told The Australian Financial Review. “Not in three years, not when there have been skills reforms, but now.”


The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has previously campaigned for a “living wage” tied to 60 per cent of median earnings. However, the Fair Work Commission’s wage panel rejected the claim after warning such big increases would significantly risk jobs and deter employment.


The Greens’ proposal would result in an 11 per cent increase in the minimum wage, from $21.38 an hour, that would be phased in over an unspecified period of time, to mitigate.


Mr Bandt will attend the Summit along with Greens employment spokeswoman Barbara Pocock.


Ms Pocock acknowledged CPI plus 0.5 per cent for female-dominated sectors would be “a huge pay rise” given inflation is forecast to be 6.25 per cent at the start of next year.


“That proposal is just trying to nudge things to begin the process of revaluing the care economy – a huge and growing part of the economy,” she added.


“We need to do something to play catch-up, both for the sake of getting enough workers into those sectors because of the massive shortages underway but also to make it fairer in the pay scheme.”


To fund the pay rises she suggested the sitting Government withdraw the Stage Three tax cuts proposed by the previous Government, which, should they go ahead, would apply a flat tax rate of 30 per cent for all incomes between $45,000 and $200,000.


“We are very clear that there is an immediate means of funding this which is overturning the stage three tax cuts which would fund a very significant increase and free childcare at the same time. Rescinding the stage three tax cuts is an essential equity measure,” Ms Pocock continued. 


To read the original coverage of this story, please see here

Download The Sector's new App!

ECEC news, jobs, events and more anytime, anywhere.

Download App on Apple App Store Button Download App on Google Play Store Button